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Baron Bane

LPTO

(Stupid Dream; US: 20 Apr 2011; UK: Import)

It often sounds as if Baron Bane includes fast-paced songs on second album LPTO because it has to. It’s not as if the tempo is an absolute barometer of quality—to be sure, songs like “Transience” and “Love.Cure.All” are interesting and catchy in a latter-period Beth Gibbons-fronted Silverchair sort of way—but the band so comfortably ease into the slower tracks that it’s easy to wish it would stick with them exclusively.


“Midthing” is a graceful, sweeping thing composed of hollow synths and violins; Ida Long’s understated, pitch-perfect vocals and a piano pulse that gives it the feel of a modern-day “Something I Can Never Have”, albeit a smoothed-over, gentle take on the Nine Inch Nails cut. “Your Words” is just as strong, starting gently but building to a tremendous neo-classical climax that holds an incredible amount of power for something that lacks percussion entirely. Even the decidedly mid-tempo “Sordid Eyes”, a song that shares more than a little in common with Failure’s “Stuck on You”, relaxes into its beat enough to position itself as a perfect transition from the more energetic first half of LPTO into the more contemplative second. LPTO is truly a lovely listen front to back; while its energetic moments drift unassumingly by, however, it is the quiet that resonates the longest.

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Mike Schiller is a software engineer in Buffalo, NY who enjoys filling the free time he finds with media of any sort -- music, movies, and lately, video games. Stepping into the role of PopMatters Multimedia editor in 2006 after having written music and game reviews for two years previous, he has renewed his passion for gaming to levels not seen since his fondly-remembered college days of ethernet-enabled dorm rooms and all-night Goldeneye marathons. His three children unconditionally approve of their father's most recent set of obsessions.


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